Signed in the off-season to a six-year, $147 million deal, right-hander Zack Greinke became the team’s second ace behind Clayton Kershaw. He spent last season split between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Regular Season Grade: A
Greinke did exactly what the Dodgers signed him for. He provided a solid number two behind Kershaw, finishing the season at 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 28 starts. He missed some time due to a broken collarbone following an altercation with San Diego Padre outfielder Carlos Quentin. Greinke came back earlier than expected, but struggled and saw his ERA rise to 4.30 on July 3.
After that date, Greinke went on a tear the rest of the season, compiling a 9-2 record with a 1.57 ERA in his last 16 starts. He went at least six innings in 15 of his last 16 starts and allowed more than two runs just once. The 30-year-old grew stronger as the season wore on and became a viable Cy Young candidate behind Kershaw.
Along with his arm, Greinke also had a very strong season at the plate, earning the Silver Slugger award for pitchers. He finished the season with a. .328 batting average and four RBI. The right-hander also added two stolen bases. Greinke even came off the bench as a pinch-hitter in an extra inning game.
Playoff Grade: A-
Greinke continued his superb pitching in the postseason, going 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts. He went at least six innings and allowed two runs in each start. The right-hander was hurt by lack of run support in his loss in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves.
His best best start came in Game 1 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals when he went eight innings and gave up just two runs. Greinke finished with 10 strikeouts but earned a no-decision in a game that the Dodgers eventually lost in 13 innings.
The 30-year-old had a solid postseason showing, along with Kershaw, to lead the Dodgers to their first NLCS since 2009. He would’ve went 3-0 if the Dodgers were able to score runs, but gave them a chance to win every game he started.
Overall Grade: A
Greinke came in and showed why the Dodgers signed him to such a large contract. He became the co-ace of the rotation and gave the Dodgers the best 1-2 punch in the major leagues.
The Dodgers will look for Greinke to continue where he left off this season and be part of one of the best rotations in baseball.
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